Too Hot To Handle

AD Series

Too Hot To Handle

July 20
th 
2015
 
Pastor Robb Stancer
 
Destiny Worship Center

OPENING

People often wonder what God will say on the other side of eternity:

  • Will He be loving?
  • Will He be understanding?
  • What will He think of my life?
  • When I get to heaven, I want to hear God say, “Well done, you overachieving Good and Faithful Servant”

Living your life for the Gospel is worth it. Going to new places to share the Good News of Jesus is something you’ll never regret because the greatest miracle God performs is a changed life.

When you’re transformed, you can’t help but catch the vision to go! When you commit your life to Christ, you commit to a lifelong adventure to go where you’ve never been before.

Acts 9:19-31 “Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah. After many days had gone by, there was a conspiracy among the Jews to kill him, but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall. When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. He talked and debated with the Hellenistic Jews, but they tried to kill him. When the believers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.

Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.”
  1. The Urgency of the Go!
In this passage, we see Saul consumed with one goal: to make Jesus known. It turns out he was too hot to handle
for those established in their faith. He was rejected and redirected to a “safe” distance. Yet God never promises safety in living out the Gospel.
  • Potential, yes.
  • Purpose, yes.
  • Power, yes.
  • Safety, no.

The disciples were skeptical of Saul. The Jews were lethal. The city was dangerous. Yet nothing could stop Saul from powerfully, fearlessly, and boldly proclaiming Jesus. As Saul moved from persecutor to proclaimer, he grew in his commitment to the urgency of the go.

Repeatedly throughout Scripture, we’re told to go! In fact, the word go shows up more than 1,400 times! We can never mistake the Bible as encouraging inactivity. It decisively reveals the urgency of God’s call to go. Look at these examples:

In Genesis 12:1 Abram—“The LORD had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you’”

It’s interesting that Abram was called from a place before he was called to a place. He left behind his old life for a new one without knowing where he would end up. This is just like our relationship with Christ. We experience new life, yet we aren’t sure to where we’re being led. God wants us to live in the journey and be willing to go even if we aren’t sure where He’s leading.

In Exodus 3:10 Moses—“So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt”

Moses was not the cream of the crop. He was an outsider with a complicated past. He was not eloquent and had trouble controlling his anger. Yet God chose him to deliver the Israelites from Egypt. And because God equips those He calls, Moses couldn’t fail if he obeyed God. Moses was an unlikely person to follow the call to go. So was Saul. So are you.

In 1 Corinthians 1:27 “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong”

These are just a few examples in Scripture pointing to the urgency of the go.

They help us see Saul as part of a long tradition of focusing on the go, a tradition carried on to you and me.

Today, God is calling you to go, and I pray that you would be willing to follow that call—to respond to the love of God by going to the world He loves so much. But you need to know that as soon as you choose to live in the go, you’ll come up against roadblocks.

When Saul stepped into all that God had for him, he immediately encountered a lot of roadblocks to living his purpose. Let’s take a look at some of the roadblocks you’ll face as you live out the go in your life and fulfill the call of God on your life.

2. Roadblocks of the Go

  • Living for Christ among the shadows of your past: Saul was the up-and-coming Pharisee. His greatest accolade was supervising the killing of Stephen by a mob of his people (Acts 8:1). As we said before, he’d gone to Damascus on a mission to imprison and persecute the Christians.

Acts 9:21  “All those who heard him were astonished and asked, ‘Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?’”

When we respond to God’s go, we get a fresh start with Jesus. But people aren’t quick to forget. Sometimes you fall right back into the trouble you were in before.

  • To the family who knew you for your character flaws
  • To the business you built dishonestly
  • To the friends who knew you for your sins
  • Saul ended up preaching Jesus to the Jews who knew him as the persecutor of Jesus

Your greatest roadblock to living out God’s go is often a reputation from life before you responded to Jesus.

Feeling unprepared to be used by God: One of the biggest questions when God calls us to go is often “How long am I supposed to wait and prepare before I act on the go?”

Acts 9:19-20 gives us great insight into how Saul prepared to respond to his calling. He ate to regain strength, spent time with the disciples, and then went out.

Saul also spent time with people who’d been following Jesus longer than him. In Damascus, he spent some time with Ananias. In Jerusalem, he went to Peter. To live out the go in our lives and withstand the roadblocks, we need to be connected to people familiar with the path.

As Saul invested in his health and community, he prepared to go.

Acts 9:19 tells us that after he regained his strength, he went “at once.” When God calls you, the correct response is to make sure you’re healthy, connect in community, and go. You’ll always feel unprepared, whether God’s asking you to take the first step or the fiftieth.

Not understanding God’s plan, He struggled to understand why God would use Peter, an uneducated, unsuccessful fisherman, to fulfill His plan.

For most of us in this room, the go isn’t to become a missionary or to put your life on the line tomorrow. For many of you,

  • The go is becoming a better parent
  • The go is starting a faith-filled conversation at work
  • The go is writing a check for one of God’s sons or daughters across the world
  • For some of you, the go is to get healthy so God can give you a greater go.

You won’t have all the answers. You might not know where the money will come from, you might be called crazy, and you’ll probably be terrified in the process. But when we go, we don’t go it alone. In your go, there is a greater awareness of Jesus. In your go, there is a greater sense of the reason you’re here.

And if we all respond to our own go, I believe God will do more in the next generation than the world has ever seen. Technology has allowed us to bring the Gospel to billions!

If each of us responds to God’s GO for our lives, we will be in the center of the greatest movement of God this world has ever seen. It will cost something, it will require you to step out to follow God even when you don’t know what the next step holds, but it will change this world. Today is the day to GO!

CLOSING

What is your go today? Whatever your step to take is, don’t let this day pass without responding to God’s call for your life. Imagine what your family might look like a month from now if you respond to the go.

Imagine what our church would look like in a year if this room were full of people responding to the go. Imagine how different our national landscape could look if today, across America, thousands of churches embraced God’s go! Let’s see what God can do through His Church! Let’s respond to God’s Word by embracing His call for us. Let’s be the church of the go!